The perfect house wine for this time of year! Do you have a spare pumpkin? Try it!
As the evenings get longer, the leaves turn redder and the freshness of the air becomes more common in homemade dishes.
But what about using this fruit (yes – technically pumpkin is not a vegetable!) to make wine?
We tend to think of pumpkins as spices that go well with spices – especially cinnamon and ginger, as in pumpkin spice latte.
Our recipe for pumpkin spice wine makes great use of these spices, creating a unique flavor that makes you think of everything.
Thanks to our simple pumpkin wine recipe, even wine novices can enjoy this delicious homemade drink without much effort.
Pumpkin wine requires the same equipment as most other fruit wines.
While you don’t need highly specialized equipment, there are a few wine-making items you should gather. To try this pumpkin wine recipe at home, you’ll need:
- 1 primary fermentation tank – this can be a grape bucket, a large jar or any other non-reactive, non-hermetic food container. Non-reactive’ in this context means kitchen utensils made of stainless steel, glass or enamelled. The vessel must contain at least 2 litres.
- 2 glass canisters with integrated airlock and syndromes (1 gallon) – during racking we will move the wine between the canisters to leave the fermentation sediment and help clarify the wine. If you only have half a player, you can still do it – you have to pump the liquid into a sterilized container, clean the half player and pour the liquid in.
- a funnel covered with a clean cloth – to filter the liquid.
- Siphon tube for transferring liquid between containers (rack).
- Glass bottles for storing pumpkin wine.
For a gallon of homemade pumpkin wine:
- 2 pounds pumpkin (pulp only)
- 1 pound golden raisins
- 2 ½ pounds granulated sugar
- 1 inch gingerroot
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 packet wine yeast
- 1 teaspoon nutritious yeast
- 3 teaspoons acid mixture
- 1 Campden board
- 1 gallon of water
How to make pumpkin wine
1. Mixture of components
First prepare the pumpkin by cutting the flesh into small pieces. To speed up this process, you can chop (or grate) the fruit.
Put it in a main container – a jar, bowl or other suitable container – and add cinnamon and ginger (peeled and chopped or grated). If you don’t like any of these spices, you can safely omit them. They are not the main ingredient in this pumpkin wine recipe – they are simply added to taste.
Chop or grate the raisins and add them to the mixture. Raisins are so important because they provide nutrients to the yeast and support it in the fermentation process.
Pumpkins lack natural sugars to feed the yeast itself. If you use golden raisins, it won’t have much effect on the bright orange color of the finished pumpkin wine.
Pour a liter of filtered water and sugar and stir to dissolve and combine the ingredients. Add the nutrients from the yeast, the acid mixture and the Camden tablet.
The nutrients in the yeast, as the name implies, feed the yeast, while the mixture of acids is needed because pumpkins lack the acids needed for an efficient fermentation process. Meanwhile, the Campden tablet effectively sterilizes the ingredients and eliminates bacteria and wild yeast that can ruin the fermentation process.
After adding all the ingredients, cover the container and let the mixture stand for 12 hours to give the Campden tablet time to work.
Recommended: Try our recipe for delicious ginger wine, which has both its own flavor and health benefits.
2. Primary fermentation
After 12 hours, your future homemade pumpkin wine will be ready for primary fermentation. Stir in the yeast and do not cover the container tightly. If you do not have a suitable cover, cover the cover with a weighted cloth or hold it in place with a rubber band.
The main fermentation should last up to five days, during which time it should be stirred once a day. You will know that the mixture is ready for the next step when the fermentation process seems to have slowed down and fewer bubbles have formed.
3. Secondary fermentation and racking
The next step is to filter the mixture to retain only the liquid. The squash will degenerate into a pulpy paste, so using a strainer is out of the question. Instead, use a sterilized funnel covered with a clean cloth to separate solids. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the raisins and pulp.
Before pouring the liquid into the demijohn, sterilize the hose and container. Sterilization is necessary at every step, for every container and utensil, as they can contain bacteria that can ruin pumpkin wine.
Just use boiling water to sterilize the demijohn. Some people prefer a weak bleaching solution.
When the demijohn is perfectly clean, pour in the liquid, fill with water (boiled and cooled) and place in the airlock.
After three weeks, decant the pumpkin wine a second time and clean the demijohn, taking care not to leave any sediment (residue) behind. Repeat this process every three months for one year. Then the wine is cleaned, stabilized and ready to be bottled!
If you prefer a sweeter wine, add a small amount of sugar – about half a cup – at the first racking (within 3 weeks). Add sugar to the rack every six weeks, adding sugar each time until you notice that fermentation does not resume when sugar is added. From then on, a stretch every three months for a year.
Recommended: Did you know that honey wine has been around for over 5,000 years? If you want to know why this wine has lasted so long, check out our recipe here and try it for yourself.
After a year of secondary fermentation, the wine should finally be ready to be bottled. Sterilize the bottles before use and divide the pumpkin wine between the bottles. Put the cap (or capsule) on and let it sit for several months.
Ideally, homemade pumpkin wine should be bottled for at least a year before consumption. This gives the wine the optimal time to age and gain more body, giving it a stronger and more defined flavor.
That’s it. Now you know how to make your own pumpkin spice wine. If you liked this pumpkin wine recipe, there are many more where this came from – check out our other homemade fruit wine recipes and tell us what your favorites are!
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